Ceramides is a group of cosmetic miracles whose popularity has continued for decades. I have been dreaming of making my own ceramide cream for a long time. Ready-made creams containing ceramides usually contain plastics and other synthetic ingredients. Now I found a ceramide made for cosmetic use and I decided to make my dream come true. In this article, I will tell you about the origin and properties of ceramides.
What are ceramides?
Ceramides are a set of lipids, or fatty substances. The word ceramide comes from the words cera, meaning wax, and amide. Ceramides are found all over the human body, not just in the skin. Ceramides are located on the cell membrane, in just about every cell.
Anyone who has seen a new-born baby has certainly seen ceramide as well. At birth, the baby’s skin is protected by a waxy, pale paste. This paste contains ceramide. Ceramides are known to have special, protective effects during the first hours of a new-born baby.
The functions of ceramides on the skin
Ceramides play an important role in forming the protective layer of the skin. Together with cholesterol and fatty acids, ceramides form an impermeable surface on the skin.
Ceramides regenerate the skin. They help damaged skin heal.
Ceramides soothe the skin. Ceramides have anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, they are often used in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, couperosa, and as an aid in the treatment of rosacea. Ceramides also reduce itching and stinging. Especially in the case of eczema itching is quite an awkward symptom.
Why are ceramides used in skin care?
Ceramides have two main functions on the skin; skin protection and keeping skin moisturized.
The outermost layer of the skin contains about 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol and 15% fatty acids. The most important ceramides in skin care are ceramide 2, ceramide 3 and ceramide 6 II. Ceramide plays a very important role in the well-being of the skin. You may want to try adding ceramides into your own products.
Ceramides are a natural part of the skin, so they are suitable for all skin types. You can even use ceramides around your eyes. Ceramides do not irritate the skin. Ceramide is usually sold blended with fatty alcohols that skin tolerates well.
Young skin is rich in ceramides naturally. As the skin ages, even the ceramide levels begin to decrease. Then it is worth adding ceramides to the skin. Excessive sunbath also reduces the ceramide content of the skin.
A very important application of ceramides is the anti-aging cream. As you age, the amount of both ceramides and cholesterol on your skin decreases. In the absence of ceramides, the skin begins to become brittle. Bacteria and air pollutants get through the skin more easily. Fragile skin also releases moisture, meaning the skin dries. Ceramides are therefore particularly suitable for the treatment of aged and dry skin.
Ceramides are used especially in skin diseases. Ceramides take care of skin moisture and regeneration. Many pharmacy creams also include ceramides. Ceramides strengthen brittle skin in connection with skin diseases. Ceramides are particularly important in the treatment of eczema. The ceramide-containing cream does not actually cure eczema but it maintains the health of already improved skin. This way, the eczema does not grow back so easily. My own dermatologist recommended me ceramide creams to maintain the condition of my skin and hair.
Acne skin can also benefit from ceramides. Ceramides have a soothing effect on the skin. Although ceramides hardly cure acne, they calm the skin.
Ceramides and air pollution
Ceramides strengthen the outermost layer of the skin. Ceramides make your skin a tight and impermeable protection against airborne contaminants. There is a huge number of pollutants in urban air that are difficult to avoid. Our own skin is a crucial air purifier. Many airborne contaminants age the skin. Air pollution is one of the major reasons of skin damages caused by free radicals.
An effective way to protect your skin against airborne contaminants is to enhance the protective effect of the skin by using ceramic-containing products. Ceramides play a huge role in protecting the skin. Half of the skin is protected specifically by ceramides.
Ceramides and hair care
Most of us have certainly come across ceramides in hair products. Ceramic Hair Treatments are popular year after year. Ceramides have many good properties that are beneficial for the hair
- Strengthens hair
- Moisturizes the scalp
- Moisturizes hair
- Repairs hair structure, acts like an adhesive
- Smoothens hair
- Brings more shine
- Increases the weather resistance of the hair
Where is Ceramide Made of?
Ceramides are made in three different ways; vegetable oils, animal fats and synthetically.
Vegetable oil-derived ceramide
Ceramide, which is a raw material for cosmetics, is usually plant-based. Ceramides are obtained from various vegetable oils such as the highly nutritious wheat germ oil. Plant-based t ceramides have been shown to be effective in maintaining skin moisture. By using wheat germ oil, you get both vitamins E and ceramides at the same time. I myself have tried to use the most natural ingredients possible in cosmetics. As an eczema patient, I want a higher ceramide content in the cream. Therefore, I add ceramides isolated from vegetable oils to my own product.
Plant-based ceramide helps to strengthen the protective layer of the skin but it does not renew or heal the skin.
The plant-based ceramic product I buy contains 15% ceramides. The rest of the substance is Cetearyl Alcohol. Ceramides are sold in small pellets that are easy to melt into fats and oils.
Ceramide of animal origin
Animal-derived ceramide acts as both a skin-strengthening and cell-regenerating product. For ethical reasons, animal-derived ceramide is not very popular in cosmetics.
Synthetic ceramide is a copy of ceramides of animal origin. Synthetic ceramides have both skin strengthening and rejuvenating properties. So synthetic ceramides are not necessarily a bad thing. They are stable and safe to use.
Ceramides in INCI
Ceramides are commonly found in cosmetics under the name Ceramide. The name can be accompanied by numbers such as 1,2,3 or letter combinations EOS, EOP, NG, NP, NS and AP.
Ceramides are sometimes also referred to as N-stearoyl phytosphingosine, α-hydroxyl-N-stearoylphytosphingosine, Caproyl sphingosine, Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Hexadecanamide or N-stearoyl sphinganine
Some products may also contain ceramide precursors such as phytospingosine. Ceramide precursors help the skin produce its own ceramide.
How can you combine ceramides with your products?
Ceramides, whether synthetic or natural, are very well tolerated and safe products. I have written a lot about different cosmetic ingredients. Ceramides are one of the basic, must-have ingredients in cosmetics. Ceramides cannot be replaced by any other substances. There is no equal active substance available.
Add ceramics and other natural skin ingredients such as moisturizing glycerol and skin-nourishing amino acids into your own products.
Use ceramides in creams, especially night creams and caring creams. Ceramides are also popular in hair care. Ceramides have a hair strengthening and moisturizing effect. Use ceramides in shampoos, conditioners and hair masks. Try ceramides especially for damaged hair.
What active ingredients have you tried for dry skin?